3D City Models as a Visual Support Tool for the Analysis of Buildings Seismic Vulnerability: The Case of Lisbon

Paula Redweik, Paula Teves Costa, Inês Vilas Boas, Teresa Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


3D city models associate a database of a city to a rigorous geospatial representation that is close to the visible reality by combining appearance, geometry, and semantics. As such, these models may include tools that convey attribute analysis, not only at the statistical level but also in terms of visual appearance of the objects, thus allowing the generation of new knowledge about a phenomenon or its effects. Lisbon is a city with a moderate level of seismic risk, and has been hit in the past by strong earthquakes. Several seismic vulnerability studies of buildings have been carried out in Lisbon. These studies generate different scenarios that consider the magnitude and source location of potential earthquakes. The results of these studies were presented as maps obtained from crossing information contained in 2D layers and presented in a GIS environment. In the present study a seismic vulnerability assessment of Lisbon’s buildings held in 2D is extended to the third dimension, which refines the resolution and the set of parameters and explores the gains of spatial analysis in 3D representations. The numerous parameters that contribute to assess seismic vulnerability of buildings may be analyzed individually or simultaneously as well as in multiple seismic scenarios. Although covering all residential buildings in Lisbon, the application of the 3D city model is demonstrated with more detail in three pilot areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308–325
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • 3D-GIS
  • Seismic scenarios
  • Lisbon
  • Building vulnerability
  • 3D models


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